With Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI) retiring after over 40 years in Congress, a whole lot of Democratic names are being floated for his northern Wisconsin seat.
Democratic sources say the list of candidates includes as many as nine names: State Sen. Julie Lassa, state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, state Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, state Rep. Donna Seidel, state Rep. Ann Hraychuck, state Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink, Judge Greg Huber, attorney Christine Bremer, and former state Superintendent Libby Burmaster.Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate told the Wausau Daily Herald that the party will coalesce around a candidate quickly, within just 10 days. “I don’t expect a competitive primary up there,” said Tate. “The Democrats will get together up there and make a decision.”
One source in Wisconsin said that Lassa in particular is viewed as a top-tier possibility, though it is not definite that she would run. The source also discussed why the party was working to avoid a primary. “Frankly this is gonna be a tough year for Democrats, we’re gonna need our resources in other places,” the source said, referring to the open-seat gubernatorial race, the reelection campaign of Sen. Russ Feingold, and other campaigns in the state.
The district voted 56%-42% for Barack Obama in 2008, but was much closer in the previous elections, with John Kerry and Al Gore carrying it by only a one-point margin each time. The likely Republican nominee is Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy, a former star of MTV’s The Real World reality show.